To make room for the third CNG tank, Audi had to reduce the size of the petrol tank.

Having seen spy shots of the next-generation Audi A3, we’re now patiently waiting for the camouflage to come off and reveal the compact hatchback’s evolutionary design. However, it might not happen in the near future taking into account the Four Rings believe there’s still time for the current A3 Sportback in G-tron form to receive one final update.

While the Volkswagen Group has made it crystal clear through massive investments that electrification is the future, it still believes in petrol engines that can run on compressed natural gas (CNG). Case in point, the Skoda Octavia G-TEC, SEAT Arona TGI, VW Polo TGI, and VW Golf TGI have all been updated in recent months, and now it’s time for the Audi A3 Sportback G-tron to get a refresh as well.

Gallery: Audi A3 Sportback G-tron

Gone is the old 1.4 TFSI engine rated at 109 bhp as it is being replaced by a new and more powerful 1.5 TFSI rated at 129 bhp. Much like the model before it, the 2019-spec version features two tanks of CNG made from glass fibre-reinforced polymer and installed underneath the cargo floor. Each holds about seven kilograms (15.4 pounds) of gas and doesn’t eat too much into the boot’s volume.

For the updated A3 Sportback G-tron, Audi is installing a third tank – this time made from steel – with a capacity of four kilograms (8.8 pounds). How were they able to squeeze in an extra tank? By reducing the size of the petrol tank, which can now hold only nine litres (2.4 gallons). By adding a third gas tank, Audi says it has extended the range to about 248.5 miles when the car is running solely on CNG.

We’ve used the word “extended” and yet the range is exactly the same as the old one? Not quite. While the previous A3 Sportback G-tron was indeed able to cover 248.5 miles, that number was based on the NEDC cycle whereas the updated version can do that distance in the more realistic WLTP.

Audi is already taking orders for the 2019MY A3 Sportback G-tron (automatic only) in Germany where the eco-friendly compact hatch starts off at €30,600. There are currently no plans to offer the A3 Sportback G-tron in the UK.

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Audi A3 Sportback g-tron
Starting the New Model Year with a Longer CNG Range

  • Audi A3 Sportback g-tronavailable to order beginning on March 7
  • Noticeable power boost thanks to new engine with 131 metric hp
  • Tank concept enables pure CNG range (WLTP) of around 400 kilometers (248.5 miles) 

The Audi A3 Sportback g-tron* is starting the new model year with a technology update. Thanks to its increased tank volume, the compact model can cover around 400 kilometers (248.5 miles) (WLTP cycle) in gas operation. Presales at dealerships in Germany will kick off on March 7. The basic price will be EUR 30,600.